Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: timdrage Date: Jan 26, 2005 4:45am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Tell US Copyright Office to let you use orphan works!

I just read this on boingboing.net, and thought here was the ideal place to let people know!:
----------------
Tell US Copyright Office to let you use orphan works!

The US Copyright Office is investigating whether it needs a system to clear the way for people who want to use "orphaned" copyrighted works that have no visible rightsholder. They're seeking public comment on this. It would be great to submit your own stories of orphaned works you would use if you could -- old RPGs, software, books and photos and paintings and such. Instructions for submitting are at the link below.

SUMMARY: The Copyright Office seeks to examine the issues raised by ``orphan works,'' i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate. Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts or making such works available to the public. This notice requests written comments from all interested parties. Specifically, the Office is seeking comments on whether there are compelling concerns raised by orphan works that merit a legislative, regulatory or other solution, and what type of solution could effectively address these concerns without conflicting with the legitimate interests of authors and right holders.
----------------

Full info here:
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-1434.htm

Spread the word!


This post was modified by timdrage on 2005-01-26 12:45:09

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: akb Date: Jan 26, 2005 6:05am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Tell US Copyright Office to let you use orphan works!

Its good to see that people have put this on the Copyright Office's radar. However, short of Brewster winning his lawsuit or Congress doing an abrupt about face and changing copyright law I'd be very surprised to see anything happen.

There is something the Copyrght Office can do to facilitate access to works that overlap substantially with orphaned works that is within current law and eminently doable, digitize the copyright registration and renewal records.

There are many works that are in the public domain because they were not renewed or not registered. However, the only way to find out is to go to the Library of Congress and look it up on paper records or pay around $100 for someone to do it for you.

I think this is a particularly salient issue in light of Google's decision to scan millions of books. They will make books available online that are public domain but with no easy way to find out which one's after 1923 are public domain these works are essentially orphaned.

Consider that the cost of doing a copyright search on a book exceeds Google's cost to scan, ocr and put it online.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Visual16 Date: Jan 26, 2005 5:26pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Tell US Copyright Office to let you use orphan works!

This is all fascinating. Forgive my illogic (making sense when discussing our government), but wouldn't a good first step be to digitize the enormous paper trail at LOC so people can quickly research orphaned works? Hell, the patents office has done that already!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: A/V Geek Skip Date: Jan 27, 2005 12:59am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Tell US Copyright Office to let you use orphan works!

Scanning the LOC documents of copyright renewals is already happening.

Here's one such site:
http://www.ibiblio.org/ccer/

Since it's mostly Project Gutenberg folks who did the work, the scanned documents refer only to books and articles - not motion pictures or sound.

Skip


This post was modified by AV Geek Skip on 2005-01-27 08:59:49

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: akb Date: Jan 27, 2005 3:19am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Tell US Copyright Office to let you use orphan works!

This project appears very heroic but Sisyphian. When I last saw it several years ago they were in the 20's and they still are. There is also no database, I'm not sure if that's because they haven't gotten around to it or if the entries are done in free text. If the latter is the case then the work is significantly lessened in value.

I hope that things like the Archive and Google's book scanning embarass the Copyright Office into digitizing the records themselves. Lessig is speaking at LoC in March with the head of the Copyright Office, that bodes well.